Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

HP 6Title: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Author: J. K. Rowling
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
2010 (2005)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 608
Started: 27th June 2016
Completed: 28th June 2016
Rating: 4.5/5
Summary: It’s Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort’s sinister forces amass and a spirit of gloom and fear sweeps the land, it becomes clear to Harry that he will soon have no choice but to confront his destiny. Can Harry succeed in the death-defying tasks ahead?

Contains spoilers.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the sixth and penultimate book in J K Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series which follows the school years of a young Wizard who is considered to be The Chosen One.

The book was adapted into a film in 2009 and it is my favourite film of the whole series.

I loved so much about this book. It’s one of my favourites in the series and there’s just a few little aspects that I disliked about it. I did enjoy the majority of the book though and I think that it’s wonderful.

I love so many different aspects of the plot and I love particular scenes too. The book is called the Half Blood Prince because it features a heavily edited potions book that Harry uses to gain top marks in his Potions classes, a class that he was merely average in before his sixth year. Hermione attempts to search for the original owner of the book because she believes that it is dangerous but she has no luck and the book eventually gets Harry into trouble as he attacks Malfoy with a spell he found in the book. I love that the main plot all focuses around this book because it manages to tie every single plot line together. I loved the reveal of the original owner at the end too.

I really enjoyed the introduction to Horcruxes and viewing memories through a pensive. It added an extra dimension to magic and I love that Rowling explores how we change our own memories to either fit a narrative or an ideal, or to even erase guilt. The journey to find the Horcrux that Dumbledore and Harry take is such a painful scene because you see a powerful wizard reduced to a mess through both guilt and an awful situation.

One of my favourite scenes of the book (and the film) comes when Harry is trying to track down Slughorn for a memory that Dumbledore needs. He previously won a batch of felix felicis thanks to the Potions book he was using and he takes the potion in the hope of having a little more luck with Slughorn. He actually goes to see Hagrid who is mourning the loss of Aragog, his giant arachnid friend who tried to murder Harry and Ron in Chamber of Secrets, and he luckily meets Slughorn on his way there. It’s just a great scene which made me laugh but it was also incredibly sad as you learn more about Lily, Harry’s mother.


Speaking of Slughorn, his parties were hilarious and incredibly awkward. Ron and Hermione’s relationship is put to the test when she plans to invite him to Slughorn’s Christmas party but she finds out that he’s going out with/dating Lavender instead. So, she goes with Cormac McLaggen who is an awful character. Also, Draco Malfoy attempts to interrupt this Christmas party and this is when we find out about his task and the unbreakable vow that Snape has taken. A lot happens during that party and I love this scene.

I loved the darker aspects of this novel too, especially the fight between Harry and Draco. It adds a lot of tension to the book which is only resolved at the very end. The ending is extremely sad but well thought out. I do believe that Rowling made the right choice when she killed off Dumbledore as it allowed Harry to find his own path to defeating Voldemort.

My only complaint is incredibly petty. I’m almost ashamed that I knocked off half a mark for this but oh well. It’s my opinion at the end of the day. So, my only complaint is that Harry just gets away with almost killing Draco and it annoys me so much. I know that Draco tried to cast the Cruciatus curse but Harry didn’t even get punished properly for slicing him open. I know he gets some sort of punishment but it doesn’t fit the crime.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a fantastic book and I’d 100% recommend it. Do read the first five books in the series first though (unless you’re re-reading the series, in which case it doesn’t really matter) even if the fifth book is slow and very long.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

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